JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 10, 2002) - East Tennessee State head coach Deane Webb celebrated his 30th birthday with a 3-2 victory over The Citadel Sunday in Brooks Gym. With the win, ETSU improved its season record to 8-19 (6-12 SoCon), while the Bulldogs fall to 7-22 overall and 0-18 in league play.
"Every time we are on the court we expect to win no matter who we are playing," Webb said following the match. "This was a game that we should've taken care of business a lot earlier, but we were just going through the motions - I was pleased we were able to focus and get the job done."
The Buccaneers controlled much of game one with a 30-19 decision, but The Citadel evened the match with a 30-27 win in game two in comeback fashion. The Bulldogs started their rally in the second game after a kill by Samantha Parisi (Thessaloniki, Greece) tied the game at 24-24 and garnered their first lead of the match on a blocking error by the Buc's Rachel Shifflet (Axton, Va.). ETSU battled back to tie the game, 27-27, before The Citadel regained the advantage before escaping with a 30-27 victory.
The Bulldogs came back after the break and dominated game three. They led by as much as 11 points before a kill by Lindsey Hodge (Summerville, S.C.) clinched the 30-23 win. In game four, the Bucs regained the momentum with a 30-19 victory, before managing a 15-7 win in the decisive game five with a team hitting percentage of .667.
"We were a little flat at times, but I we picked up the play after the third game," said Webb. "Nicole Ryan (Etiwanda, Calif.) and Kate Steidle (Waynesboro, Va.) did an excellent job of increasing the intensity, although collectively we didn't always put forth our best effort."
Ryan smashed a match-high 20 kills on 38 attempts and only four errors for a hitting percentage of .421, while Steidle had 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .360. Meghan Connolly (Solon, Ohio) and Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.) finished the match with 12 kills each. Allen also led the team with three service aces and five block assists. Freshman setter Renee Vesey (Paw Paw, Mich.) tallied 49 assists.
Connolly led the Bucs' defensive effort with 14 digs followed by Karen Freeburg's (New Castle, Ind.) 13 digs.
Stefanie Farris (Wasilla, Alaska) led the Bulldogs with 17 kills, while Nicole Mantu (Corona, Calif.) and Audra Ritchie (Findlay, Ohio) had 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Setter Katie Livingston (Newberry, S.C.) dished out 46 assists. Farris and Mantu each led The Citadel with 11 digs and Amber Davis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) registered five block assists and one solo block.
ETSU continues its current home stand with a match on Tuesday, Nov. 12 versus the Tennessee Volunteers. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Brooks Gym.